Grading Each New York Ranger's Performance in 2014 Winter Olympics
The 2014 Winter Olympics are over, and a couple of New York Ranger players are returning with hardware. Rick Nash won gold with Canada, and Carl Hagelin and Henrik Lundqvist won silver with Sweden. The other Blueshirts failed to medal, but what grade would you assign to their performance in Sochi?
The seven Rangers who participated in the games had various impacts, and here is a grade for each Rangers' performance in Sochi.
Stats via IIHF.com.
Rick Nash (Canada)
Rick Nash was moved from line to line during the Olympics, and he registered a lone assist during six games. He averaged 10:05 a game, but played a solid two-way role. Nash was brought to be an offensive player, so a grade of C+ seems fair.
Nash's defensive role is not underrated, but he is a goal scorer that failed to score a goal in Sochi.
Mats Zuccarello (Norway)
Mats Zuccarello averaged 22:25 a game during the three games he played for Norway. Zuccarello's tournament ended prematurely after he sustained an injury that will sideline him for about three weeks with the Rangers.
Zuccarello didn't register a point, but he was arguably one of Norway's best forwards. Box scores don't tell the full story with Zucc, because he was an aggressive forward who generated a lot of chances for a Norwegian team devoid of real skill.
Carl Hagelin (Sweden)
Carl Hagelin scored two goals while in Sochi, and he averaged 10:48 a game in a tertiary role.
He served his purpose as an adequate two-way player, and his speed was useful on larger ice. Hagelin was able to execute in a solid defensive role for his team, and he most assuredly deserved a silver medal for his efforts.
Henrik Lundqvist (Sweden)
Henrik Lundqvist won five of his six starts in Sochi, his only loss coming during the gold-medal game, and he was named to the tournament all-star team for his efforts. This happened because Lundqvist posted a .943 save percentage, a 1.50 GAA and two shutouts in six games.
His lights-out play was impressive considering the injuries Sweden had to overcome, and he looks poised and motivated to lead the Rangers to more hardware as the season continues.
Ryan Callahan (United States)
Ryan Callahan had a secondary role in Sochi, and he tallied a lone point in six games. He averaged 14:13 a game and was used in an energy role. Callahan brought some physicality and truculence to the games, and he developed some chemistry on Team USA's "meat line" with David Backes and Dustin Brown.
The line didn't generate a ton of offense, but it was a solid physical two-way checking unit for Dan Bylsma that terrorized opponents during group play and the quarterfinal round.
Ryan McDonagh (United States)
Outside of Ryan Suter, Ryan McDonagh was Team USA's top defender. Dan Bylsma paired the two former University of Wisconsin Badgers together, and McDonagh averaged 20:43 during six games. He also added a goal and an assist, and he was plus-1.
McDonagh's smooth skating, instincts and gap control were useful on the larger ice surface, and he showed the world why he is one of NHL's top defenders on the rise.
Derek Stepan (United States)
Derek Stepan was an extra forward who was brought to the Sochi games for the experience. If the NHL participates in the 2018 Olympics, there's a good chance Stepan will be a main player. During the Sochi Olympics, Stepan appeared in one game.
Stepan received six shifts and played a whopping 4:59. That's all Dan Bylsma gave Stepan, so it is hard to give him any grade because of his limited playing time.
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